Sunday, March 18, 2012

Walking Iris (Neomarica gracilis)
Walking Iris (zone 8a - 11) 
Those walking irises have walked back into my life. My mom gave me some walking irises a few years ago. I tried planting them in a container and they did nothing, not even flower. I immediately transplanted them into the ground with a northern exposure in zone 9B. That worked wonders. The following spring, we got blooms and every year since I am amazed at the beauty of these flowers. These springtime blossoms send out little shoots away from the main plant to expand and grow a new plant. Once it roots, it can safely be separately from the parent plant and shared with your friends so they can enjoy the beauty of this lovely plant in their yard since it multiplies so easily. I'm so glad to have this plant walk into my garden. This plant will take full sun to full shade and has average watering needs. For those in the climates cooler than zone 8a, this can be grown as a house plant and should flower in the spring, but keep in mind that it has a very short-lived blossom. With that and the special note below, I'm not certain keeping it as a houseplant would be worth it to me between grand kids and pets. *Special Note about this plant: ALL PARTS OF THIS PLANT ARE POISONOUS IF INGESTED

Ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum)
Flowering Ligustrum
Ligustrum is one of most popular hedges seen in the southern states because it grows fast, it's easy to shape into a bush or a tree, it tolerates our crummy soil, and it's inexpensive.  During the spring it has a lovely, little white flower that attracts bees and butterflies and smell quite nice.  It is usually one of the signs that warmer weather is here to stay.  These come with a warning that they can be invasive.  I have these everywhere.  They grow so quickly they need to be trimmed every 3 to 6 months.  If you trim too much off, you risk having nothing but sticks behind since the insides of the shrubs are essentially bare sticks  as all the leaves are mostly on the outsides of the shrubs. 

Confederate Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
Confederate Star Jasmine
Oh the sweet smell of jasmine is filling the air as you walk up to my front door from the driveway.  The jasmine has started to bloom....just barely, but it has started to bloom.  It's like being in heaven.  However, I won't lie about this little bugger.  Jasmine vines will choke the heck out of any plant near it if you don't watch it and keep it in check.  I need to keep an eye on it and trim it back every year.  This plant grows 8a - 11 again and guess what, yep, this one is poisonous too.  In fact, just touching this one can cause skin irritation for some people.  I have some in front and some in back.   I used to have in a container on the lanai, but to frank, the scent was a bit too strong.  It's a bit better to have it wafting in on the breeze.  Full sun to partial shade will work for this plant, but it needs some sun so don't put it in a corner of the yard where no sun will reach it.  It has average water needs but it is drought tolerant so it's a great plant for people who garden with plants that are native to their area or like plants native to their area.  The seeds can be successfully stored from this plant.  Allow the pod to mature on the plant and then collect the pod, split the pod and then save the cleaned seeds.


1 comment:

  1. To create a continuous hedge across the front, we've planted these Wintergreen Boxwoods, Buxus microphylla var. koreana 'Wintergreen'.